Submitted by the Lopez Island Library
The Lopez Island Library welcomes Portland, Oregon-based author Kate Kaufmann, who will be speaking about her new book “Do You Have Children? Life When the Answer is No” on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the library. In conversation with Lopez resident and author Iris Graville, Kaufmann will talk about how not having children impacts life—from careers, friendship and family to what we leave behind when we die. Graville and Kaufmann will broach what can be a sensitive, sometimes charged topic in a respectful, frank and revealing way.
Kaufmann’s book is not a typical guide for finding solace in the midst of infertility or for consciously choosing not to have children. Rather, it serves as a road map for what the childless and child-free can expect as they navigate life. Weaving together stories from women aged 24 to 91, including her own story, and findings from a growing body of research, Kaufmann brings to light alternate routes to lives of meaning, connection and joy. Non-moms by choice and by chance can learn from five generations’ advice and personal stories that detail the good, the bad and the unexpected that comes from leading a fulfilling life without children. “During our supposed fertile years,” Kaufmann explains, “so much emotion swirls around having children or not that the topic often goes underground. Once we find ourselves on a path that doesn’t include having kids, whether by choice or by chance, it can be tough to resurface what’s now considered taboo. Where do we go to learn more about what life is like for the childless and childfree? Our mothers can’t tell us, and resources that describe the full life span are few. I wrote this book to share true life stories and encourage curious, respectful, and frank conversation about alternate routes to fulfilling lives.”
Kaufmann embarked on her life as a non-mom when she abandoned fertility treatments, quit her corporate job and moved from the suburbs to a rural community to raise sheep. Since 2012, she has talked with hundreds of women and advocates for better understanding of the childless/child-free demographic. She received a master’s of fine arts in creative writing in 2016 from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and has a professional background in corporate staffing, training, and consulting. She’s lived in various urban, suburban, rural, and coastal communities and currently calls Portland, Oregon, home. Her writing has appeared most recently in Conscious Connection, GirlTalk HQ and the Washington Post. Visit her at www.katekaufmann.com.
The library program will include a short reading by Kaufmann from the book, a conversation with Graville and a facilitated audience Q&A. This program is free and open to all—childless and childfree women and men, parents and grandparents.